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Petition Launched To Save Charles Correa's Kala Academy from Demolition

India Architecture News - Aug 9, 2019 - 02:51   2604 views

Petition Launched To Save Charles Correa's Kala Academy from Demolition

The Charles Correa Foundation has launched petition to save Charles Correa's Kala Academy from demolition by the State Government in India. The Kala Academy was Charles Correa's first building in his native state of Goa.

Built in 1983, since the building is suffering from structural weakness, including some water leaks on the structure, the local government has decided to tear down the building. By launching a petition this month, the Foundation’s request from the government to assign an experienced consultant to undertake the repairs to the structure so that the building can be used again.

Petition Launched To Save Charles Correa's Kala Academy from Demolition

View from the River to the Akademy with its small open-air stage in the foreground. 

Located in a site along the Mandovi River in Panaji, the capital Goa, the building has "the only government-run arts institution in the country with separate faculties for both Western and Indian classical music, and also offers courses in theatre and dance." Being one of the most important cultural buildings of Goa, the building is the most vibrant and equitable public building of its kind in India. 

Petition Launched To Save Charles Correa's Kala Academy from Demolition

The Kala Academy is located in a site along the Mandovi River in Panaji, the capital Goa, and it has become a center for the performing arts providing a number of facilities - including a 100-seat auditorium, a 2000-seat open-air amphitheater, and a special “black box” for experimental productions.  

The Kala Academy was originally started in 1973 but was only completed ten years later. The three-storey building’s main feature is the large pergola above the entrance, which acts as an extension to the foyer of the main auditorium and amphitheater. The entrance space acts as a funnel to the building from the Campal (one of the major tree-lined avenues of the city) towards the casuarina trees along the water. 

Petition Launched To Save Charles Correa's Kala Academy from Demolition

This diversity is not restricted in use, as Alexandre Moniz Barbosa says in his editorial "Hold it, re-think the demolition of that pièce de résistance". The Kala Academy also has a great diversity in its users. 

"It has been host to Konkani tiatrs, drama, film screenings and music competitions across all genres and languages; there are exhibitions and book fairs in the foyer and the art gallery. We hold Z-Axis, our biennial conference on architecture here. It’s really a much-used venue for a diverse set of programs," said the Foundation. 

Petition Launched To Save Charles Correa's Kala Academy from Demolition

The court has already stepped in and there will be a hearing next week about the building. The Foundation’s aim to get as many signatures on the petition as possible before that date to help save the building. 

The petition has now reached over 11,000 signatures, which target to collect 15,000 signatures in total. The Charles Correa Foundation announced the petition to the Minister of Art and Culture, Government of Goa, which aims to undertake sensitive conservation measures to preserve the building for the future use. 

Architect, planner, activist and theoretician Charles Correa was one of the first Honorary Members of World Architecture Community since 2007. Described as "India's greatest architect", who passed away in 2015, he is known for his modernist projects showing "sensitivity to the needs of the urban poor" and for his use of traditional methods and materials.

You can sign the petition to save the Kala Academy here.

All images © Charles Correa Associates (Architects/Planners) courtesy Charles Correa Foundation. 

> via Change.org & Charles Correa Foundation